2012 Clerkship Application Thread

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:38 pm

Negative. District in 4th circuit.

Probably common for judges to interview like that.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:Got a CoA offer in a non-DC/2/9/7 circuit and I'm sorta feeling down. How much of a prestige drop is there?


Are you kidding me?

Outside of DC circuit, circuit prestige is a myth. There are a handful of prestigious judges out there. Outside of that, there are good bosses and bad bosses, and good cities to live in and bad cities to live in. Your goal is to find a good boss in the best city to live in for a year. Plus, there are plenty of judges in the 3d, 4th, 5th, and 6th, for example, who are more "prestigious" than your average 7th circuit judge.

-DoubleClerk

ETA - if you really feel this way, then you should ask yourself why you are clerking? Are you going to be insufferable in chambers and act like you're 'better than' your co-clerks?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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forza
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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby forza » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:Got a CoA offer in a non-DC/2/9/7 circuit and I'm sorta feeling down. How much of a prestige drop is there?


Wow.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:A few minutes into an interview, the judge asked if I had any questions. I posed what seemed to be plenty. After noting the effort might not be reciprocated, I stated that I had more questions but wondered if the judge had anymore questions for me before I proceeded. This was well short of the thirty minute mark. Why not reject me outright? It's not like the "pleasure" of receiving what seemed to be disinterested responses for 15 minutes will make my credit card balance decrease.


Some judges prefer for the interviewee to drive the interview. They believe that they can learn more about the interviewee through the questions they ask and how they drive the conversation than the judge could by going down a set list of questions. There really is nothing to read into this -- you just need to be confident and prepared for the possibility of this occurring (and understanding how to be able to fluidly shift from your memorized questions to following up on trails in the conversation).

-DoubleClerk

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:Any offers from DNJ?


McNulty on DNJ is full.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:Got a CoA offer in a non-DC/2/9/7 circuit and I'm sorta feeling down. How much of a prestige drop is there?


You know Jordyn Wieber? The 17-year-old American World Champion in gymnastics who was favored to win the Olympic All-Around this year? She had a rough first day of Olympic competition and did not qualify for the all-around because she finished behind two of her teammates. So she ended up taking home "only" one Olympic gold medal in the team competition. Now, she could have taken your approach and bemoaned the "prestige drop" of a team gold medal relative to the all-around title. Instead, at 17, she had the wisdom to realize that she'd stepped into a once in a lifetime situation. Her choice was to savor the huge accomplishment she had secured - or to make herself miserable because it wasn't 100% of the accomplishment/prestige/glory she'd hoped for. To her credit, she chose the former.

Now I'm not saying that a COA clerkship is the Olympics. But I am saying that it is a wonderful professional opportunity that is a hell of a way to start off your legal career. You got an offer that so many future litigators - including some posting in this thread - really wish they had. You will learn a lot, and it will open doors in your future career. (Also, DoubleClerk is right that 2/7/9/DC are not across-the-board more "prestigious" than the remaining circuits. Honestly, once you're in practice, only some subset of former clerks and unsuccessful clerk applicants even fully grasp the supposed hierarchies of district and circuit "prestige."*) Now either stop feeling bad for yourself and start savoring the fact that you are a future circuit clerk, or tell your judge that you're "feeling down" about working for him/her, so s/he can revoke your offer and give it to someone who will appreciate it for the opportunity that it is.

Oh, and congratulations.

*These hierarchies of prestige have mostly been invented by clerkship applicants and future clerks online - often according to the interviews and offers that they've received. I remember robust debates on a now-defunct board online re: whether SDNY was more prestigious than a midwest CoA; whether DDC was more prestigious than CDCA and NDCA; etc. It was usually possible to figure out where a poster had clerked based on their personal assessment of "prestige." And (while I can't comment on what academic hiring committees might discuss), I've never heard hiring practitioners sit around and give the CTA2 clerk a boost over the CTA3 clerk because of some supposed difference in relative prestige.
Last edited by ClerkAnon on Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:31 am

Hey, has anyone heard reports about these NYC DJs? (Do Glasser and Sand still hire?)

Glasser / Mauskopf / Ross (EDNY)
Briccetti / Gardephe / Pauley / Preska / Sand (SDNY)

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:40 am

White Plains is not in NYC.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:19 am

Has anyone heard if Siler (6th) has scheduled interviews?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby CreativityKing » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:26 am

ClerkAnon wrote:
SMU2013 wrote:Got Fed. Dist. interview. How should I approach this interview as opposed to how I approached OCI interviews for BigLaw? The same? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Happy to Just Get an Interview


Congrats on the interview! Many clerkship interviews are more personal than BigLaw interviews; the judge is often trying to get a feel for your personality, background, and how you will fit into a very small working environment. Emphasize any ties you have to the region, and don't be startled if you get questions about your family or childhood in the district where you grew up.

To prepare:

1. Read the judge's AFJ entry. This will point you to some his or her key cases through time. Also, run some Lexis/Westlaw searches (incl Lexis News searches) to be aware of the judge's recent noteworthy cases.

2. Your "Why do you want to clerk?" answer should address three things, even if you aren't separately asked about each of the three. What excites you about the experience of a district court clerkship, and how will the experience you get during this clerkship bolster your future career? (Answer the latter without mentioning prestige. One of my judges specifically listens for any hint of candidates being motivated by prestige rather than a genuine desire to have the experience of clerking.) Why this district? And why this judge? Some judges will explicitly ask you what appeals to you about their chambers specifically; speaking from experience, it's *extremely* awkward if you don't have a judge-tailored answer ready.

3. Be ready on the "How did you like law school?" question, just in case. It doesn't hurt to mention that you have particularly enjoyed specific classes that are relevant to the work of a federal clerkship or have learned that you are drawn to trial litigation, if true. Favorite SCOTUS justice and favorite/least favorite SCOTUS opinion can come up.

4. Be ready to discuss every entry on your resume.

5. Be ready to discuss your writing sample, but be aware that it might not come up often. I have done > 10 clerkship interviews, and only one judge wanted to discuss my writing sample. With that said, he wanted to discuss it for 45 minutes - and liked the discussion enough to make an exploding offer immediately after.

6. Know what you like to do for fun, what you like to read, etc. (It sometimes doesn't hurt to know what the judge likes to do for fun, read, etc. - if this info is publicly available. It often is, in the media's judicial profiles. Obviously tell the truth, but if the judge and you are both avid rec volleyball players, it certainly won't hurt you if this comes up! In one of my successful interviews, I was explicitly asked whether I was still interested in an activity on my resume that I'd done during college - which just happened to be one of the judge's hobbies.)

7. Make your question list. Sample questions for a federal district clerkship:

- Who divides cases between the law clerks, and how? Are law clerks permitted to express an interest in particular types of cases? (be slightly careful with tone on the latter question, and if you mention that you are really hoping to gain, say, securities lit experience - make sure you've done your homework and already know that the judge has plenty of securities cases)
- Do the term clerks have any responsibilities on criminal cases, or is the focus of the clerkship civil motion practice?
- Roughly how often is the judge in trial? What duties do clerks have re: assisting the judge during trial (e.g., helping with research to decide motions in limine)?
- How many externs does the judge have each term, and what supervisory responsibilities do the law clerks have? (If the judge is very extern-oriented, you will of course want to express suitable enthusiasm for working with and mentoring law students.)
- When do the clerks meet to discuss cases with the judge? In what format? E.g., during my district court clerkship, substantive motions were always heard on a particular day of the week. We would have a group meeting in the middle of the previous week in which the clerks discussed their assigned motions with the judge and made recommendations, accompanied by drafts for the judge's review over the weekend.
- IF you know from Lexis/Westlaw that the judge likes to sit by designation on the circuit (i.e., search the judge in the federal circuit database, too, not just the district court one) and IF this is something you are interested in, it's generally fine to ask for more information on this. Avoid giving the impression that you are much more excited about appellate work than trial work, though.
- If the judge is a senior or chief judge, it is fine to ask how - if at all - this affects the workload of clerks.

ETA Know where you stand on the prospect of an exploding offer from that particular judge before walking into your interview. If you would say anything other than "I accept!", have a very well-thought-out response prepared.


This is fantastic and detailed advice. Thanks so much for putting it together.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just got a District Court offer, I am done!


Congratulations! Willing to say what court?


MDNC

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:36 am

District Court offer this morning. Wasn't expecting the phone to ring on a Saturday and was taken a little off guard. Accepted and I'm done, since it was my top choice anyway. School told us to immediately call other judges and let them know after accepting an offer - I'm assuming that it's acceptable to call first thing Monday morning, and not today, correct?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:White Plains is not in NYC.


This is why people don't like talking to lawyers. NYC area, if you prefer.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Citizen Genet » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:White Plains is not in NYC.


This is why people don't like talking to lawyers. NYC area, if you prefer.

Correction. This is why people don't like talking to people from Manhattan.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:28 am

Citizen Genet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:White Plains is not in NYC.


This is why people don't like talking to lawyers. NYC area, if you prefer.

Correction. This is why people don't like talking to people from Manhattan.

+1. I stand corrected.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Got a CoA offer in a non-DC/2/9/7 circuit and I'm sorta feeling down. How much of a prestige drop is there?


Are you kidding me?

Outside of DC circuit, circuit prestige is a myth. There are a handful of prestigious judges out there. Outside of that, there are good bosses and bad bosses, and good cities to live in and bad cities to live in. Your goal is to find a good boss in the best city to live in for a year. Plus, there are plenty of judges in the 3d, 4th, 5th, and 6th, for example, who are more "prestigious" than your average 7th circuit judge.

-DoubleClerk

ETA - if you really feel this way, then you should ask yourself why you are clerking? Are you going to be insufferable in chambers and act like you're 'better than' your co-clerks?


Dude. The only reason I said that is cause I got an exploding offer and I had an interview with a 2/9/7 judge lined up that I would've liked to see what would've happened.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just got a District Court offer, I am done!


Congratulations! Willing to say what court?


MDNC


can I ask which judge? Through OSCAR? Stats/how you got the interview?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:District Court offer this morning. Wasn't expecting the phone to ring on a Saturday and was taken a little off guard. Accepted and I'm done, since it was my top choice anyway. School told us to immediately call other judges and let them know after accepting an offer - I'm assuming that it's acceptable to call first thing Monday morning, and not today, correct?


Congrats! I assume your school means to call other judges with whom you already have interviews to cancel them. Monday morning is fine for that. For judges where you have applications pending, but do not currently have an interview, it's fine to tell the JA or clerk that you've already accepted another offer if and when they call you to interview.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A few minutes into an interview, the judge asked if I had any questions. I posed what seemed to be plenty. After noting the effort might not be reciprocated, I stated that I had more questions but wondered if the judge had anymore questions for me before I proceeded. This was well short of the thirty minute mark. Why not reject me outright? It's not like the "pleasure" of receiving what seemed to be disinterested responses for 15 minutes will make my credit card balance decrease.


I agree with DoubleClerk on this one: when this happens, you are usually being evaluated based on your questions. Questions tell the interviewer a lot about your thinking on the position, including what background research you have done and whether you already understand what the position for which you're applying entails. If I had my way, I would prefer to do most interviews at my office this way, because I think I'd learn a lot more about the candidates' interest in and understanding of our work. And when I interview these days, I make sure that I have at least ten substantive, genuine questions going into the interview - in case the interviewer prefers this approach. Usually this is overkill - but when it pays off, it pays off bigtime.

I also agree that when you're in an interview where you are expected to do the asking of questions, you definitely need to be prepared to switch fluidly from prepared questions to follow-up discussion based on the interviewer's responses. The bottom line is for your questions to open up an organic conversation about the position - and for you to have a set of fallback questions in the back of your mind, in case the conversation falls off/starts to sound disinterested.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby ClerkAnon » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Fortunate enough to have landed a district court clerkship. Also interested in trying for a circuit court in 2014. A few questions for ClerkAnon and others:

- Does experience as a clerk in dist. ct. make you a more attractive candidate? Marginally or by a lot?

- There are multiple circuit court judges I applied to this go-around in the same courthouse in which I'll be clerking for my dist. judge. Are my odds better with those judges?

- Any advice for things I can do/classes I can take (besides fed courts) that will make my life easier when I start clerking?

Thanks in advance!


Sorry to this anon for the delayed response.

1. In my experience, the DCt clerkship + strong recommendation from my DCt judge made me strongly more attractive to COA judges. This was especially, but not exclusively, true of the judges who expressed a preference for candidates with work experience: a DCt clerkship actually seemed to be their preferred form of work experience. (One judge, however, mentioned liking biglaw experience with higher than average billable hours, because it signaled a willingness to work very hard, beyond the minimum the firm required. In this judge's view, people who could handle 90-100 hour weeks at a firm doing junior associate tasks would be excellent candidates to handle 60-80 hour weeks at the circuit. They'd probably be able to handle the circuit's still-high hours without difficulty and, having sought out the clerkship, would be likely to enjoy it more than their firm experience.) Of course, I can only talk about a small sample of judges.

2. Potentially, yes. You should discuss this with your district judge. He or she may actually be a "feeder" to specific circuit judges - or even if a "non-feeder," will be able to tell you whether his or her recommendation will carry special weight with certain judges. It's likely that those judges will be in the same courthouse, but not necessarily. For example, my district court judge was able to write me an especially strong LoR that I could use with all judges - but also to name five circuit judges whom he felt comfortable calling to urge them specifically to consider my application. (FWIW: certain of those judges offered me interviews, but not others. And I ultimately accepted an offer from a circuit judge who only knew my district court judge by name, but found his LoR very compelling. My circuit judge still mentions the DCt written recommendation as what got my application pulled from the pile.)

3. Actually, this is a good question for your judge's current clerks. While fed courts is a must, the other helpful courses will vary slightly by district. In some districts, the answer would be securities; in others, IP; in some, the advice would be to brush up on your FRE. To illustrate the variance between courts: in the Ninth Circuit (but not district courts within the Ninth Circuit), the answers include immigration law, habeas (especially for those who do a < 5 credit fed courts, which usually doesn't cover habeas as thoroughly), and any course that deals with federal criminal law. And for those still interviewing, this is a good one to ask the clerks during your interview.
Last edited by ClerkAnon on Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:45 pm

I just secured a 2014 District Clerkship and am quite happy. While it means I'll spend 2013 back at my firm, I'm still trying to poke around to see what CoA stuff might still be out there.

Does anyone know what the status is with Lucero (10), Loken (8), Farris (9), or Owen (5)?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:00 pm

Curious if anyone on here interviewed in Western Dist. of TN and received an offer?

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just secured a 2014 District Clerkship and am quite happy. While it means I'll spend 2013 back at my firm, I'm still trying to poke around to see what CoA stuff might still be out there.

Does anyone know what the status is with Lucero (10), Loken (8), Farris (9), or Owen (5)?



Farris interviewed and picked his clerks a few weeks ago. Owen interviewed (at least some) back in July, but I don't know if she selected clerks/interviewed more on plan/etc.

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Got a CoA offer in a non-DC/2/9/7 circuit and I'm sorta feeling down. How much of a prestige drop is there?


Are you kidding me?

Outside of DC circuit, circuit prestige is a myth. There are a handful of prestigious judges out there. Outside of that, there are good bosses and bad bosses, and good cities to live in and bad cities to live in. Your goal is to find a good boss in the best city to live in for a year. Plus, there are plenty of judges in the 3d, 4th, 5th, and 6th, for example, who are more "prestigious" than your average 7th circuit judge.

-DoubleClerk

ETA - if you really feel this way, then you should ask yourself why you are clerking? Are you going to be insufferable in chambers and act like you're 'better than' your co-clerks?


Dude. The only reason I said that is cause I got an exploding offer and I had an interview with a 2/9/7 judge lined up that I would've liked to see what would've happened.


Why? If the judge you got an offer from is a good boss in a decent city, you should be ecstatic (plus, I'd much rather be in Nashville or Dallas on a JSP-11 salary than San Francisco or NYC). But, to echo what ClerkAnon said, there really is no circuit prestige (and, to be fair, all of the "prestigious" 7th Circuit judges hired a long time ago; same with much of the 9th).

I will note that in general, I think the exploding offer is quite unfair for the candidate -- I know several judges who strongly dislike exploding offers. That said, it is probably a necessary evil of the hiring plan and, yet another reason why the plan should just be ditched.

-DoubleClerk

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Re: 2012 Clerkship Application Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Judge Schneider (E.D. Tex.) is filled--at least one of the two spots posted.


Well shit balls.

Congrats to the Anon poster though.




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